Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 6th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: UK, 1970
Director: Freddie Francis
Writer: Brian Comport
Cast: Vanessa Howard, Michael Bryant, Ursula Howells, Pat Heywood, Howard Trevor, Robert Swann, Imogen Hassall, Michael Ripper, Hugh Armstrong
DVD released: March 30th, 2010
Approximate running time: 102 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Scorpion Releasing
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.98
Synopsis: A dysfunctional family lures playmates into their bizarre world of adolescent games. If these games are not played properly. The consequences for those who break the rules will be deadly.
Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly was directed by Freddie Francis, whose other notable films as a director include The Skull and Tales from the Crypt and as a cinematographer The Elephant Man, Dune and Cape Fear (1991). The screenplay was adapted from a play written by Maisie Mosco titled “Happy Family”. For its U.S. release Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly was released as Girly.
The playmates that Girly and Sunny pick are all adult males. The film never makes mention of what happened to their father and by choosing adult males as their playmates suggests that they might be searching for a father figure that is missing in their lives. Further evidence that suggests that the family is looking for a father figure can be found in the way in which their mother seduces all their playmates. Besides sleeping with the children’s latest playmates. There is a strong indication that there is a lesbian relationship between Mumsy and Nanny. There are a few moments between Girly and Sunny which suggest ever so subtly that they may be more than just sister and brother. The scene where Sunny gives Girly a piece of candy and she sucks on his finger tips is one of the more blatant scenes which hint at a incestuous relationship. Needless to say the four main characters Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly have long lost grip on what is right and wrong. The world they have created for themselves is as distorted as the twisted nursery rhyme games they play.
Without a doubt this films greatest assets is its lead actress Vanessa Howard in the role of Girly. She perfectly embodies the mischievous and equally seductive side of her character. Sadly she would retire from acting a few after making Girly. Another performance of note is Michael ripper appears briefly in the film as a grounds keeper at the zoo. Whether working as a cinematographer or director Freddie Francis always manages to inject just the right amount of style in each project he works on. The plot and the dialog are just as clever now as they were forty years ago when this film was first unleashed on unsuspecting audiences. It should not come as a surprise that a film that is filled with subject matter that many would find objectionable. That there is an abundance of humor (albeit very dark) that is ripe with satirical subtext.
Girly is presented in a anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This is a solid looking progressive flagged transfer that easily triumphs all previous home video releases of this film. The source used for this transfer is in great shape . Colors look vibrant, flesh tones healthy, black levels and details remain strong throughout.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. The audio is also in great shape as everything always sound clear and balanced throughout.
Extras for this release include a theatrical trailer under the “Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly” title (2 minutes 4 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a Spanish language trailer (1 minute 48 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a T.V. spot (30 seconds – 4:3 full frame), a alternate title card (47 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a audio interview with director Freddie Francis (28 minutes 27 seconds) and a interview with screenwriter Brian Comport (28 minute 16 seconds – anamorphic widescreen). The interview with screenwriter Brian Comport who discusses the play which the film is based on, producer Ronald J. Khan, director Freddie Francis, actress Vanessa Howard (who’s contract had a few unusual stipulations), production related stories and Cinerama Releasing. The audio interview with Freddie Francis is this release’s standout extra. Besides discussing Girly, he also talks in depth about various other film’s he worked. This is a fascinating interview that fans of Freddie Francis are sure to thoroughly enjoy. Overall Girly gets a definitive DVD release from Scorpion Releasing, highly recommended.